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Hair Loss in Women: Minoxidil and Pregnancy

For women experiencing hair loss due to female pattern hair loss and other forms of treatable shedding, minoxidil is the one proven medication available to them. But what about hair loss in women that are pregnant, for whom minoxidil is unsuitable?

Women who are already using any formulation of minoxidil when they become pregnant are advised to stop using this treatment as soon as they know that the have conceived. This is due to the possibility of birth defects. There has been no applicable study results for humans using minoxidil during pregnancy, but animal studies showed some side effects in babies due to minoxidil being absorbed by the skin.

pregnant woman hair lossThicker hair for pregnant women

When men or women stop using hair loss medication (because there is no cure for genetic hair loss) it’s true that hair regrowth can be reversed. However, because of what happens to women’s hair during pregnancy, significantly more hairs are retained on the head, meaning that noticeable hair fall from stopping minoxidil is unlikely in pregnant women.

When women are pregnant, there is a surge of the hormone oestrogen in the system. One side effect of this is that more hairs remain in the growth, or ‘anagen’ stage of their hair growth cycle for longer, meaning that overall hair density is increased, making women’s hair look thicker.

Once the woman has given birth, hormone levels return to normal, and a greater number of hairs than usual enter the telogen stage (resting stage) of their cycle, on account of the higher number of hairs that had remained on the head that would otherwise have shed.

The shedding of this hair is called post-partum hair loss, and generally appears as diffuse thinning, though it can also be patchy. A significant amount of hair can be lost, although hair should return to its previous thickness before pregnancy by the baby’s first birthday. This growth may be accelerated by the use of a bespoke treatment plan, as can be see in this Belgravia Video Diary.

Going back on minoxidil after giving birth

When breastfeeding has finished, women can begin taking minoxidil once again.

If you were not taking minoxidil before you became pregnant, but have noticed since the birth that your hair has not returned to its previous thickness, post-partum hair loss may have masked the onset of pattern hair loss, which requires a female hair loss treatment plan to halt this shedding and prevent further thinning.

A variety of hair growth boosters can be used alongside the minoxidil, such as the nutritional supplement Hair Vitalics, which helps to keep hair in the best condition possible.

Men using hair loss treatments before and during their partner’s pregnancy

It is also worth mentioning that whilst men can continue using minoxidil when their partner becomes pregnant, it is advisable that they cease using the other clinically proven hair loss medication (which women cannot use at any time) Propecia – or any other brand of finasteride 1mg.

Being on finasteride 1mg at the time of conception isn’t a problem, and provided there is no continued exposure for the duration of the pregnancy and the breastfeeding, there should be no problem. Indeed, no abnormalities have ever been reported in this instance. As a purely precautionary measure, at Belgravia we advise our male clients to stop taking their finasteride tablets one full week before they and their partner start trying to conceive.


The Belgravia CentreThe Belgravia Centre

The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.


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